Burma Army Chief Meets Thai Top Brass in Bangkok

By The Irrawaddy 28 August 2015

Burma’s army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing paid a visit to the Thai capital Bangkok on Thursday, meeting with top officials including Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and influential nonagenarian Prem Tinsulanonda, head of the country’s Privy Council.

During the commander-in-chief’s meeting with former general turned prime minister Prayuth, the pair discussed relations between the two country’s armed forces, recent flooding in Burma and progress on establishing special economic zones along the nations’ shared border, according to state-run media.

A post on Min Aung Hlaing’s Facebook page said the army chief praised Prayuth for the “progress” Thailand had made under his leadership and expressed sympathy for the victims of a recent bomb blast at a Bangkok shrine which killed 20 people.

Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to Thailand came the day after Privy Council President Prem celebrated his 95th birthday on Wednesday alongside well-wishers from Thailand’s top brass at his Bangkok residence. Burma’s army chief met Prem on Thursday afternoon.

The pair are known to be close, with reports emerging last year that Min Aung Hlaing had asked the ageing Prem to adopt him as his godson.In June last year, Min Aung Hlaing threw his support behind the Thai ruling junta, shortly after it took power in a military coup on May 22, stating on a visit to Bangkok that it was the army’s duty to safeguard national sovereignty.